Beyond the Rib Cage

A story in which everything goes wrong...yet so right.

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1. Chapter One

    I had just finished washing my dishes from lunch when I cleared the extra food from the bottom of the sink into the garbage disposal. I go to flick the switch but it makes a horrendous gurgling noise and the extra food shoots back up from the sink and all over the counter. I flip the switch back off and wipe up the mess throwing it in the bin. I grab my phone and look through my contacts to see if I knew anybody who could fix it. I see my brother Louis’ name pop up and I click on the icon. I pull the phone up to my ear and after just two rings I hear my brothers high pitched voice.

    “Hey Binny, what’s up?” he asks seemingly out of breath as if he’d just been in a fit of laughter. I smirk and shake my head.

    “Hey, I’m having a bit of a problem with my garbage disposal, it’s like…clogged or something. Can you come fix it?” I speak, my voice wavering. I pick at my nails as I await his answer.

    “Uh, yeah but-“ he says but I cut him off.

    “Oh my goodness thank you so much, when can you be here?” I ask.

    “Uh, like 20 minutes?” he said more like a question than an answer.

    “Okay, thanks. I’m gonna get in the shower. See you later Lou.” I say as I start walking towards the stairs.

    “Okay, see ya.” he hangs up and I shove my phone into my pocket as I stomp up the stairs. I walk into the bathroom and strip my clothes off tossing them into the hamper. I step into the shower and let the water engulf me. I wash my hair and body and when I’m finished I just stand there letting the warm water cascade over my body until I decide I’m finished.

    I was just shutting the water off, from my nice, relaxing shower, when I hear the door open and slam shut. Louis loud voice filled the downstairs living room.

    “Louis is in the building!!!” he shouts from the living room.

    ”Lou!” I hear another voice call. It's rich, and deep with sort a husky, but smooth tone.

    "What?" Louis says in a sassy tone making  me laugh.

    "I'm going to the bathroom, mate." The other voice calls. The footsteps become closer so I hurry to wrap a towel around myself. Soon enough the door swings open to reveal a charming figure, with curly hair down to his shoulders, and the brightest green eyes I've ever seen wearing a plain black tee shirt and black skinnies with a large hole on the left knee. He eyes me up and down before awkwardly clearing his throat and looking around, anywhere but at me.

    "Hi. I'm Louis’ little sister, Devan." I introduce myself trying to cut the tension.

    "Harry." He says, holding eye contact with me for less than a second before turning his attention to the floor. I follow his gaze to his chocolate brown cheasle boots. I smile at him, and move out of the way so he can enter the bathroom. He steps past me with a whispered thanks, and shuts the door behind him. I can't shake the feeling that he gave me and I slowly make my way to me room and shut the door. I quickly dry off and get dressed in light blue skinny jeans with the ankle rolled up, and a plain white tee shirt. I throw my hair up in a bun and slip on my plain white TOMS. I waddle into the kitchen where I see Louis kneeling under the sink fixing the sink. I grab a bottle of water from the fridge and take a large gulp. I notice a tall figure leaning against the counter. Once I get a better look, I see it’s Harry who is staring contently at his phone. I rip my attention away from the handsome lad and towards my brother who released a loud groan.

    “So Lou, how’s life?” I ask lightly kicking his butt with my toe. He just chuckles.

    “It’s good, Devan, it really is.” he replies sarcastically. I laugh and lean against the counter watching Louis work. I hear the front door open again.

    “Babe I’m home!” I hear the voice I dread hearing every day. It’s Sam. I see from the corner of my eye Louis tense at the sound. I just nudged his side with my shin as I await Sam’s entrence. He walks around the corner. Immeadeatly his gaze falls on Harry. I tense as I see him curl his fingers into a fist. I just  walk over to him and placed my palm on his chest reasuringly. In one swift movement he grabs my hips and pulls me into a rough kiss. His tongue swirls over my bottom lip begging for access. I unwillingly open my mouth as he shoves his tongue into my mouth. Sam suddenly deepened the kiss, and his hands shifted from my hips to my butt. He gripped me roughly earning a small squeak from me. His kiss travels quickly from my mouth to right above my collar bone. I make eye contact with Harry who is sitting in a stool with wide, confused eyes. I give him a pleading look as I mouth a simple ‘help’. He’s about to say something when Sam suddenly nips at my skin and sucks roughly as he squeezes my bottom harshly.

    “Ow, Sam. Ow.” I whimper as I try to push him away. He instead pins me against the wall tightening his grip on my hips.

    “Sam stop.” I say a little more forcefully but he doesn’t. I close my eyes hoping he’ll just let me go.

    “Hey, she said stop!” I hear my brother shout. I look at Louis with thankful eyes as Sam glares at Louis with clenched fists. I move away from Sam and cower behind Louis.

    “She obviously doesn’t want you here, just leave.” Harry shouts. I look at Harry with fear written all over my face. Sam eyes Harry for a few seconds before harshly grabbing his keys and slamming the door behind him as he leaves.

     I run the sleeve of my shirt along my neck to rid the skin of Sam’s slobber. Louis turns to me and runs his fingers over the bruise that I’m sure has started to form on my neck. He wraps his arms around my shoulders and I press my face into his neck.

    “Well Binny,” Louis called me by the nickname that I despised, “your sink is fixed.” he said letting his arms loosen from around my shoulders.

    “Please don’t go, I don’t want to be here alone when he comes back.” I mutter with pleading eyes.

    “If he comes back.” Harry scoffs in disgust.

    "Okay." Louis sighs. I nod, and look towards the stairs.

    "I'm going to, uh, take a nap." I whisper to Louis. He nods again and I walk towards the stairs. I make it to the top of the stairs, and I hear Louis, apologizing to Harry and trying to explain, but I can tell he's upset with Sam. I lay in my bed, rubbing the now darkened bruise on my neck. I sigh deeply, and close my eyes, hoping that I can just fall asleep.

 

       

      1        ❃    ❃    ❃    ❃

 

 

    I wake up to Louis knocking on the door.

    "Dinner's ready." He says, softly. I nod and get up. He pats his neck and I check the mirror to look at the bruise.

    "Shit." I whisper, and grab my makeup. It takes a lot to cover up the purple mess on my neck, but I manage. Louis holds my hand as we go down the stairs together. I walk into the kitchen to see three plates set out with Mac-N-Cheese on them. I sit down in the chair I always sit in, but this time I’m not by myself. I see Harry sat across the table from me and Louis sits next to me. I pick up my fork and jab it into the noodles. I take a bite and once I swallow I just sit there and push the food around on the plate.

    “Louis…” I pushed out meekly.

    “Yeah Binny?” he asks looking at me.

    “He did it…” I said quietly not even needing to explain further when Louis stood up forcefully.

    “When?! Where?!” he shouted angrily.

    “Last week, we were at home and he was drunk and he just did it.” I said trying to block out the memory of the pain shooting to my stomach as I lied weak on the floor, Sam kicking me repeadadly. I looked down at my stomach. Harry, gave Louis and I both confused looks as I stood up. I pulled up my T-shirt to reveal the bruise, Harry gasped, and Louis turned away with clenched fists.

    "I should kill him." Louis mumbles, and I notice as Harry nods. He reaches his hand out, and rests his hand on my waist, looking at the bruise. I pull my shirt back down and he drops his hand to his lap immediatly. Louis grabs his phone from the counter and I grip his wrist tightly.

    "Please, don't tell anyone. Please, Louis." I beg, he glances down at his phone, then towards my stomach, and finally to his wrist where my hand is clenched. He just nods and puts his phone back down.

    "What are we going to tell mom." He asks and I just shake my head. He slightly nods and grabs Harry and I's plates, walking back into the kitchen to wash them. Harry keeps his eyes fixed on the floor, and I can tell he's thinking. I sit back down on my stool and sip my water.

    "Are you okay?" Harry asks. His voice is uneven. I nod, and give him a confused look.

    "Does it still hurt?" he asks, looking towards my stomach. I laugh a little, I shake my head no.

    "Unless I touch it, no." He nods again, and then glances at my neck. His eyes widen and he grabs his napkin, and wipes away the makeup.

    "Did he do that to you too? When he was in the kitchen earlier?" he asks. I nod again and his face scrunches up.

    "I've heard of love bites, and am no stranger in giving them. But that looks like he just bit you." He shakes his head, and a tingle goes up my spine from him saying he knows how to give them. I shake my head, wanting to get off this topic.

    "Tell me about yourself." I say, switching the topic. He seems grateful by my sudden request and smiles as he starts telling me about himself.

    "Well, I have a sister named Gemma, and a mother named Anne, a step father too. I grew up in Holmes Chapel, and I'm 22 year old." I nod at his very calm, normal life.

    “How did you and Louis meet?”

    “Since I moved so far from home for college I didn’t know anybody there so they paired me up with Louis and we quickly became best buds. So long story short, we’re roommates.” he says easily.

    "Anything else?"  I ask, and he thinks for a minute.

    ”I like to sing." He shrugs, and Louis walks in with a wide smile on his face.

    "And he's very good at it too. Though, Haz doesn't seem to think so." Louis laughs, and ruffles Harry's curls. Harry glares at him before fixing his hair.

    "Yea, yea. Whatever Lou." Harry says, and gives him a smile.

    "Okay, it's late, I'm tired. Devan, show Harry the guest room?" Louis says, and as to prove his point, yawns and points up the stairs.

    "Okay." I mumble and lead Harry up the stairs.

    "Good night." Harry says in the door way of the Guest bedroom across the hall from mine.

    "Good night." I reply, and smile, before moving away from the door. I slowly slink into my own room and shut the door quietly. I lean my back against the door and bite my lip as I smile. I slip into the bathroom that’s connected to my room and wash my face and neck from the makeup. I brush out my hair and put on my fuzzy pajamas walking back into my room. I sit on the edge of my bed thinking about what will happen when Sam comes home tomorrow. I toss the decorative pillows onto the floor and pull the blankets over me. I lay my head on the soft pillow and close my eyes. I lay there for about twenty minutes trying to get some sort of sleep but my mind is to focused on the color of Harry’s eyes. I throw the covers off of me and quietly walk to the room Louis is staying in. I knock on the door and wait to see if he’s awake. When I hear his soft voice telling me to come in I open the door to see him sitting in his bed reading a book.

    “I can’t sleep.” I say softly. He just pats the space next to him. I pad over to the bed and curl up next to my big brother. He shuts off the lamp and I soon drift off into a peaceful sleep.

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